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Tossing Pebbles in the Stream

This blog is my place to sit and toss pebbles into the stream. The stream of Life relentlessly passing before us. We can affect it little. For the most part I just watch it passing and follow the flow. Occasionally, I need to comment on its passing, tossing a pebble at it to enjoy the ripple affect upon Life's surface.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Montreal Massacre Remembered


It was 19 years ago today, December 6, that Marc Lapine entered the Ecole Polytechnique in Montreal, with an automatic weapon and killed 14 female engineering students, after sending the men out of the room.

Lapine hated women. I need not say more.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C3%89cole_Polytechnique_massacre






















Memorial Plaque to the 14 Women












The women were individual with every reason to hope for a bright future. They were making their mark in a male dominated profession. Today 17 years later they would be at the height of their careers, no doubt with families and possibly children of their own looking forward to adulthood. They are no doubt deeply missed by family and friends. Also, their deaths have left an indelible impression on Canada and our understanding of ourselves.


As a result of these killings, Canada was galvanized to bring about more effective gun control. Women, in particular, have also been mobilized to resist violence against women in our society. To the extent these efforts have born fruit, they give some meaning to the senseless lose of these women.


'Till the day I die, I will never understand men who justify to themselves to be abusive toward women, verbally and physically.


I do not consider my upbringing extraordinary but somewhere along the way, I was taught to never be abusive toward women. I have never raised my hand in anger toward a woman or even been verbally abusive. I credit my mother for this. I can hear her admonitions even now. "You must never, ever, under any circumstance, hit your sister. Some day you will be much bigger and stronger than her.!" "You must never hit a woman." This went along with being polite and respectful toward women. My father also was respectful toward women and never hit my mother. I only remember a few occasions of loud discussions after I went to bed
(I still remember how upset they made me: frightened and insecure.)


I am inclined to blame the mother's of abusive men. Where were they when lesson should have been taught to son. (This is an oversimplistic answer, I know. Human behaviour is very complicated and shaped by many factors.) I do know my mother left an impression on my. I would like to know why treating women properly was so important to her. I thank her for it.
I would have trouble facing myself if I took out my demons on a woman.


I also have trouble understanding women allowing themselves to be treated abusively. I don't believe any of the women I have loved and been close to would have tolerated abuse for a minute. Need I say I like strong independent women which may explain why I live alone today.


Society must judge abusive men very harshly. It is not acceptable at all.

8 Comments:

At 1:01 PM, Blogger Mary said...

Philip,

Thank you for your tribute to the the women whose lives were lost on that fateful day, and your tribute to women in general.

I think that society has changed. Back in our day if there was abuse in a home, it was never spoken of. Today it is in the forefront.

I don't necessariy blame the mothers of men who abuse women, though they are somewhat to blame, I suppose. I blame society in general. There is no punishment that can be meted out to offenders. If they are arrested and go before the courts they get a slap on the wrist. I just don't think that people respect people today like we did back then.

I've had this discussion with my grandsons and so has their mother. We have told them it is unacceptable to be disrespectful, verbally or physically abusive. Yet they see it in everyday society and on TV, so they think it is okay. Children live what they learn.

Thanks again, my friend. Enjoyed my visit here.

Blessings,
Mary

 
At 11:08 AM, Blogger Gretchen said...

It's easy to blame the gun, but it can't fire itself. It's simply a tool to be used for either good or bad. Take away a gun from a law abiding citizen and you make that person a subject that needs protecting from the evil. Lets face it, the police can't protect anyone. They show up afterwards a write a report. I am a strong supporter of the Second Amendment. I don't need anyone to protect myself or my family, I'm able to do that. If you take my gun, will Johnny Gangbanger also give up his? I think not. It just makes it easier for him to rob, rape and kill me and mine.

Again, it's easy to blame Mom for all the world's ills. Everyone always blames Mom. Freud was infamous for that. Ted Bundy's mother was a nice lady and look what she produced. :(

Men need to take responsibility for their own actions. Don't blame their faults on their mothers. Free will is a wonderful thing.

Women are very different. We are taught from birth that we have the power to change the world. We always think we can change the men in our lives. It's easy to condemn a woman who allows herself to stay in an abusive relationship, but sometimes, it's better to stay with the devil you know than to go on your own. Is a bad father who brings in a paycheck better than living on the streets? There are so many different scenarios. Until you've walked a mile in their shoes, please don't judge them too harshly.

OK, rant off.

 
At 2:11 PM, Blogger possum said...

Wow. It is hard to say what sets some people off and what does not. My step father was very abusive. At first I just thought it was because I was a stepchild - then his kids came along and he beat them, too, and they were only babies. But his father beat him - and so on it goes, some say.
Not only did your mother obviously do a good job - but you were a child who listened - and paid heed to what she said. Maybe it was the way she said it - maybe you were just predisposed to be a non-abuser.
My neighbor down the street is abusive towards his one son who refuses to go out and shoot deer. His twin brother LOVES the idea of shooting things, dead or alive. One is a gentle boy, one would just as soon blow up your house as look at it just to hear the bang and see the dust fly. Go figure.
He also has older twin girls. One is tough and aggressive but honest as the day is long. The other, soft and very girlie but would try to lie to Jesus if he asked her a question. Again, go figure.
I guess I will never understand the thinking of anyone who takes another life, not even to defend myself. But I might shoot your knees out from under ya!

 
At 2:16 PM, Blogger Ginnie said...

A sad memory for sure. I don't know where this animosity toward the opposite sex comes from but it always amazes me.
The other day I was in a Thrift Store and an elderly gentleman was looking at the books. There was a copy of "Bel Canto", by Ann Patchett and I held it out to him and said, "I don't know your taste in books but this is an excellent one." He gave it a glance and then said, in a gruff voice, "I have never read anything written by a woman!"
It really took me aback and I mumbled something to the effect that he'd certainly missed a lot in life.

 
At 3:07 PM, Blogger سحاب said...

sheaa

 
At 11:26 PM, Blogger KGMom said...

I remember the massacre you remind us of. As someone who has worked in higher education from time to time, I tune in to stories of deranged people--whether students or not--going into classrooms and shooting people for WHATEVER reason.
While I echo your thoughts on not abusing women physically, I think I would expand it to say--always treat ALL with respect and kindness--men, women, animals, all of nature.

 
At 10:01 AM, Blogger PipeTobacco said...

Hello:

Although I applaud you for your essay and your remembrance of such a horrific tragedy, I have a slightly different approach:

I was taught to not hit ANYONE or hurt ANYONE, neither woman nor man.

As you may well imagine, that teaching is EVEN MORE DIFFICULT than just not hitting women, especially in the way we accept (hell, sometimes promote) violence between males in our society.

PipeTobacco

 
At 12:05 PM, Blogger Rachel said...

I think they should be judged very harshly indeed! Men should not abuse women. I would not put up with it.

Sounds like your Mother was a very smart woman!

 

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